“It is a Neo-Nazi organization called Atomwaffen. I don’t know if it’s connected to what happened in Orlando, but it does have affiliation,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young.
HBCUs receiving bomb threats on Tuesday included Coppin State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Alcorn State University, Tougaloo College, Morgan State University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Fort Valley State University, Howard University, Xavier University, the University of the District of Columbia, Spelman College, and Edward Waters University.
On Monday, HBCUs receiving bomb threats included Southern University and A&M College, Albany State University, Bowie State University, and Delaware State University.
Many of the campuses went on lockdown while the threats were investigated, with classes going remote. So Black students were forced to lock down in fear for their lives, with their educations being disrupted by the threats.
“It was hectic this morning, everyone in the hallway was scared as they saw a whole bunch of police outside, undercovers, dogs. They were everywhere,” Bethune-Cookman University sophomore Samson Reed described Monday’s scene to Bay News 9. “Helicopters sounded like they were just outside the window.”
The cause for fear went beyond the students on the scene. “It was early, waking up to phone calls, people letting us know what happened,” Bethune-Cookman freshman Tyrik Orr said. “[My mom did] what any mom would do, check if her son was alright. My grandma and everybody made sure I was alright.”
We’re talking about tens of thousands of students here—close to 100,000, based on the reported enrollments of all the schools that have received threats over the past month—facing fear and disruption because of threats of racist violence. Meanwhile, Republicans across the country are insisting that teaching the history of racism in this nation is unnecessary and a harm to white kids. So far, the threats have been hoaxes. But that’s no guarantee the next threat or the one after that will be, and schools cannot risk the lives of their students or staff by being complacent about threats.
“The FBI is aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and we are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats,” the FBI said in a statement, CBS News reports. House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson also said he had contacted the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security about the issue.
“It is not lost on me that these threats are targeting African American educational institutions at a time when we are observing Black History Month,” Thompson said Tuesday. “Moreover, this rash of threats against HBCUs put further strain on campuses and communities that were already under great stress, as they try to operate safely during the pandemic. These bomb threats against HBCUs deserve a full investigation, particularly given the dynamic terrorism threat landscape.”
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